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Putting down the phone is not enough: New study dives into distracted driving

We know that picking up a phone to send out a text or pull up a song while we drive is not a good idea. We have seen the statistics about how if we look down at our phone while driving 55 miles per hour for five seconds, we will drive the equivalent of a football field with our eyes off the road.

This is not new information.

Here is something new: we are still distracted for a full 30 seconds after we finish looking at our phone. That means even though we have turned our eyes back to the road in front of us our minds have not yet caught up.

Our minds are still on the other task.

For far longer than those five seconds discussed above that translates to driving the length of a football field.

Why is this information important?

The new information was the result of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. The study reviewed dozens of participants ages 18 to 58 and ultimately supported previous studies that all point to the same conclusion: we are not good at multitasking. The study also supports the many states with laws that do not allow texting even at a stop light. This is because even if we get that message before the light changes, our mind is unlikely to switch its focus back to the task at hand in time.

The research also helps to support other distracted driving laws throughout the nation. Laws vary state by state and are constantly evolving. Just this summer, Alabama officials passed a law that now makes it illegal to drive with a handheld device while driving.

Unfortunately, even with study after study and findings like those discussed above, not everyone changes their driving habits. This can mean we may find ourselves in a catastrophic crash even if we were paying attention and did everything we could to avoid the accident.

What if I am injured in a car accident?

You could be eligible for legal remedies if you believe the other driver was using their phone or otherwise distracted and caused the accident. An attorney experienced in these types of claims can review your case and discuss your options.